Wednesday August 20, 2008 (Linebacker Coaches)
"Deserving Credit" is a series highlighting some of terrific and/or lesser known coaches throughout the country that based on their hard work are worthy of national recognition.
O'Neill Gilbert (Tulane): Veteran linebacker coach O'Neill Gilbert is set to begin his 2nd season at Tulane University. Last season, Gilbert won over the respect of the staff and players at Tulane. So in the off-season when the opportunity presented itself, head coach Bob Toledo decided to promote Gilbert to linebackers coach / defensive coordinator. Last season while Gilbert coached the linebackers at Tulane, the Green Wave defense improved from 9th in rushing defense in the conference in 2006 to 1st in the conference in 2007. The Green Wave significantly improved their tackling and statistics in total defense. Gilbert is no stranger to success as he coached the linebackers on the Tennessee Titans' AFC Championship and Super Bowl team. Look for a much improved conditioned defensive unit this season to make further strides this year under Gilbert.
Scott Bostwick (Northwest Missouri State): Northwest Missouri State linebacker coach / defensive coordinator Scott Bostwick enters his 15th season with the Bearcats. Just one season ago, Bostwick was awarded with the AFCA assistant coach of the year award. In 2007, the Bearcats were nasty against the run, finishing 9th in the country in rushing defense. Quite honestly, you don't play in 3 consecutive national championship games without a solid linebacker's coach. Coaches in the profession say the Bearcats consistently fit their gaps and make tackles. Bostwick has demonstrated tremendous loyalty to the staff at Northwest Missouri State and is certainly "deserving credit."
John Gilliam (Morehead State University): John Gilliam enters his 13th season on staff Morehead State University. Serving as the linebacker's coach / defensive coordinator, Gilliam led the Eagles to a #1 nationally ranked rushing defense in 2007. Amazingly, the Eagles allowed just 53 rushing yards per game while finishing with a 7-4 record. The Eagles also finished 10th overall in the nation in total defense. As the Eagles continue to improve their recruiting, look for Gilliam to create problems for opponents with similar talent. If it wasn't for late season games vs. D-I Western Kentucky and D-IAA offensive power San Diego, Morehead State would have finished even higher statistically. Gilliam is certainly a coach "deserving credit."